Keres language

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Native toUnited States
RegionNew Mexico
Native speakers
10,670 (2007)[1][2]
Keresan or language isolate
  • East Keres
  • West Keres
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
kee – Eastern
kjq – Western
Keres langs.png
Pre-contact distribution of Keresan languages

Keresan /ˈkɛrɪsən/, also Keres /kəˈrs/, is a Native American language, spoken by the Keres Pueblo people in New Mexico. Depending on the analysis, Keresan is considered a small language family or a language isolate with several dialects. The varieties of each of the seven Keres pueblos are mutually intelligible with its closest neighbors. There are significant differences between the Western and Eastern groups, which are sometimes counted as separate languages.

Family division[edit]

  • Eastern Keres: total of 4,580 speakers (1990 census)
  • Western Keres: total of 3,391 speakers (1990 census)

Genetic relationships[edit]

Keres is now considered a language isolate. In the past, Edward Sapir grouped it together with a Hokan–Siouan stock. Morris Swadesh suggested a connection with Wichita. Joseph Greenberg grouped Keres with Siouan, Yuchi, Caddoan, and Iroquoian in a superstock called Keresiouan. None of these proposals has been validated by subsequent linguistic research.


Keresan has between 42 and 45 consonant sounds, and around 40 vowel sounds, adding up to a total of about 95 phonemes, depending on the analysis and the language variety. Based on the classification in the World Atlas of Language Structures, Keres is a language with a large consonant inventory.

The great number of consonants relates to the three-way distinction between voiceless, aspirated and ejective consonants (e.g. /t tʰ tʼ/), and to the larger than average[4] number of fricatives (i.e. /s sʼ ʂ ʂʼ ʃ ʃʼ h/) and affricates, the latter also showing the three-way distinction found in stops.

The large number of vowels derives from a distinction made between long and short vowels (e.g. /e eː/), as well as from the presence of tones and voicelessness. Thus, a single vowel quality may occur with seven distinct realizations: / é è e̥ éː èː êː ěː /, all of which are used to distinguish words in the language.


The chart below contains the consonants of the proto-Keresan (or pre-Keresan) from Miller & Davis (1963) based on a comparison of Acoma, Santa Ana, and Santo Domingo, as well as other features of the dialects compiled from The Language of Santa Ana Pueblo (1964), Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics (1987), and The Phonemes of Keresan (1946), and the Grammar of Laguna Keres (2005).[5][6][7][8]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Retroflex Postalveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t c k ʔ
Fricative voiceless s ʂ ʃ h
ejective ʂʼ ʃʼ
Affricate voiceless ts
aspirated tsʰ tʂʰ tʃʰ
ejective tsʼ tʂʼ tʃʼ
Approximant voiced w ɽ j
glottalized ɽˀ
Nasal voiced m n ɲ
glottalized ɲˀ


Keresan vowels have a phonemic distinction in duration: all vowels can be long or short. Additionally, short vowels can also be voiceless. The vowel chart below contains the vowel phonemes and allophones from the information of the Keresan languages combined from The Language of Santa Ana Pueblo (1964),[5] The Phonemes of Keresan (1946),[7] and Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics (1987).[6]

Long Short
Phonemic Phonetic Phonemic Phonetic Voiceless
Close / iː / [ i ] / i / [ i ɪ ] [ ɪ̥ ]
Mid-front / eː / [ eː ] / e / [e ɛ æ ] [ e̥ ]
Mid-central / ɨː / [ əː ɨː ] / ɨ / [ ə ɨ ɤ ] [ ɨ̥ ]
Open / ɑː / [ aː ɑː ] / ɑ / [ a ɑ ] [ ḁ ]
Back-close / oː / [ oː ] / o / [ o ] [ o̥ ]
/ uː / [ uː ] / u / [ u ʊ o ] [ ʊ̥ ]


  • Western Keres does not have phonemic /oː/ or /o/, though both vowels may occur phonetically.[8] Eastern Keres words containing /o/ show /au/ in Western Keres.[9] For instance, the first vowel in the word-sentence Sraúkacha - “I see you”:
    • Kotyit Keres: [ ʂóːkʰɑ̥tʃʰɑ̥ ]
    • Kʼawaika Keres: [ ʂɑ̌ukʰɑ̥tʃʰɑ̥ ] -

Voiceless vowels[edit]

All Keresan short vowels may be devoiced in certain positions. The phonemic status of these vowels is controversial.[8] Maring (1967) considers them to be phonemes of Áákʼu Keres, whereas other authors disagree. There are phonetic grounds for vowel devoicing based on the environment they occur, for instance word-finally, but there are also exceptions. Vowels in final position are nearly always voiceless and medial vowels occurring between voiced consonants, after nasals and ejectives are nearly always voiced.[10]

  • Word-final devoicing: [ pɑ̌ːkʊ̥ ] because
  • Word-medial devoicing: [ ʔìpʰi̥ʃɑ́ ] white paint


Acoma Keres has four lexical tones: high, low, falling and rising.[10] Falling and rising tones only occur in long vowels and voiceless vowels bear no tones:

Tones examples translation
High [tɨ́j] , [áwáʔáwá] here, matrilineal uncle
Low [mùːtètsá] young boy
Rising [pɑ̌ːkʊ̥] because
Falling [ʔêː] , [hêːk'a] and, whole part

Syllable structure[edit]

Most Keresan syllables take a CV(V) shape.[8] The maximal syllable structure is CCVVC and the minimal syllable is CV. In native Keresan words, only a glottal stop /ʔ/ ⟨ʼ⟩ can close a syllable, but some loanwords from Spanish have syllables that end in a consonant, mostly a nasal (i.e. /m n/ but words containing these sequences are rare in the language.[11]

Syllable type examples translation
CV [sʼà], [ʔɪ]shv́v I have it, left
CVV [mùː]dedza , a[táù]shi young boy, cooking pot
CCV [ʃkʰí]srátsʼa I'm not fat
CCVV [ʃtùː]sra bluejay
CVC í[miʔ], [kùm]banêeru expression of fear, workmate (Spanish "compañero")

Due to extensive vowel devoicing, several Keresan words may be perceived as ending in consonants or even containing consonant clusters.

  • Word-internal cluster: yʼâakạ srûunị ‘stomach’ /jˀɑ̂ːkḁʂûːni/ > [jɑ̂ːkḁʂûːni] ~ [jɑ̂ːûːni]
  • Word-final coda: úwàakạ ‘baby’; /úwɑ̀ːkḁ/ > [úwɑ̀ːkʰḁ] ~ [úwɑ̀ː]


The only sequence of consonants (i.e. consonant cluster) that occurs in native Keresan words is a sequence of a fricative /ʃ ʂ/ and a stop or affricate. Clusters are restricted to beginnings of syllables (i.e. the syllable onset). When the alveolo-palatal consonant /ʃ/ occurs as C1, it combines with alveolar and palatal C2, whereas the retroflex alveolar /ʂ/ precedes bilabial and velar C2s, which suggest a complementary distribution. Consonant clusters may occur both word-initially and word-medially.[9]

C1 / C2 Bilabial Alveolar Velar Postalveolar
/ p / / pʰ / / pʼ / / t / / tʰ / / tʼ / / k / / kʰ / / kʼ / / tʃ / / tʃʰ / / tʃʼ /
/ ʃ / /ʃtáʊ̯rákʊ̥/


'frog, toad'






'plot of land'










/ ʂ / /ʂpúːná/


'water jug'






'it's full'






'mound, hill'



'female in-law'


Traditional Keresan beliefs postulate that Keres is a sacred language that must exist only in its spoken form.[12] The language's religious connotation and years of persecution of Pueblo religion by European colonizers may also explain why no unified orthographic convention exists for Keresan. However, a practical spelling system has been developed for Laguna (Kʼawaika)[8] and more recently for Acoma (Áakʼu) Keres,[13] both of which are remarkably consistent.

In the Keres spelling system, each symbol represents a single phoneme. The letters ⟨c q z f⟩ and sometimes also ⟨v⟩ are not used. Digraphs represent both palatal consonants (written using a sequence of C and ⟨y⟩), and retroflex consonants, which are represented using a sequence of C and the letter ⟨r⟩. These graphemes used for writing Western Keres are shown between ⟨...⟩ below.

Consonant Symbols[edit]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Retroflex Postalveolar Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless ⟨b⟩ ⟨d⟩ ⟨dy⟩ ⟨g⟩ ⟨ʼ⟩
aspirated ⟨p⟩ ⟨t⟩ ⟨ty⟩ ⟨k⟩
ejective ⟨pʼ⟩ ⟨tʼ⟩ ⟨tyʼ⟩ ⟨kʼ⟩
Fricative voiceless ⟨s⟩ ⟨sr⟩ ⟨sh⟩ ⟨h⟩
ejective ⟨sʼ⟩ ⟨srʼ⟩ ⟨shʼ⟩
Affricate voiceless ⟨dz⟩ ⟨dr⟩ ⟨j⟩
aspirated ⟨ts⟩ ⟨tr⟩ ⟨ch⟩
ejective ⟨tsʼ⟩ ⟨trʼ⟩ ⟨chʼ⟩
Approximant voiced ⟨w⟩ ⟨r⟩ ⟨y⟩
glottalized ⟨wʼ⟩ ⟨rʼ⟩ ⟨yʼ⟩
Nasal voiced ⟨m⟩ ⟨n⟩ ⟨ny⟩
glottalized ⟨mʼ⟩ ⟨nʼ⟩ ⟨nyʼ⟩

Signage at Acoma Pueblo[edit]

Signs at Acoma Pueblo sometimes use special diacritics for ejective consonants that differ from the symbols above, as shown in the table:

Signage at Acoma Pueblo
General ⟨pʼ⟩ ⟨tʼ⟩ ⟨kʼ⟩ ⟨sʼ⟩ ⟨tsʼ⟩ ⟨mʼ⟩ ⟨wʼ⟩ ⟨yʼ⟩ ⟨nʼ shʼ srʼ tyʼ⟩
Acoma signage ⟨ṕ⟩ ⟨t́⟩ ⟨ḱ⟩ ⟨ś⟩ ⟨tś⟩ ⟨ḿ⟩ ⟨ẃ⟩ ⟨ý⟩ ?

Vowel Symbols[edit]

Vowel sounds are represented straightforwardly in the existing spellings for Keresan. Each vowel sound is written using a unique letter or digraph (for long vowels and diphthongs). However, there are two competing representations for the vowel /ɨ/. Some versions simply use the IPA ⟨ɨ⟩ whereas others use the letter ⟨v⟩ (the sound /v/ as in veal does not occur in Keresan). Voiceless vowels have also been represented in two ways; either underlined or with a dot below (see table).

Long vowels Short vowels Voiceless vowels
Phoneme Grapheme Phoneme Grapheme Phoneme Grapheme
/ iː / ⟨ii⟩ / i / ⟨i⟩ / ɪ̥ / ⟨i̱⟩ or ⟨ị⟩
/ eː / ⟨ee⟩ / e / ⟨e⟩ / e̥ / ⟨e̱⟩ or ⟨ẹ⟩
/ ɨː / ⟨ɨɨ⟩ or ⟨vv⟩ / ɨ / ⟨ɨ⟩ or ⟨v⟩ / ɨ̥ / ⟨ɨ̱⟩ or ⟨ṿ⟩
/ ɑː / ⟨aa⟩ / ɑ / ⟨a⟩ / ḁ / ⟨a̱⟩ or ⟨ạ⟩
/ oː / ⟨oo⟩ / o / ⟨o⟩ / o̥ / ⟨o̱⟩ or ⟨ọ⟩
/ uː / ⟨uu⟩ / u / ⟨u⟩ / ʊ̥ / ⟨u̱⟩ or ⟨ụ⟩

Diacritics for Tone[edit]

Tone may or may not be represented in the orthography of Keresan. When represented, four diacritics may be used above the vowel. Unlike the system used for Navajo, diacritics for tone are not repeated in long vowels.

High tone Low tone Rising tone Falling tone
Long Vowel ⟨áa⟩, ⟨úu⟩ ⟨àa⟩, ⟨ùu⟩ or unmarked ⟨ǎa⟩, ⟨ǔu⟩ or ⟨aá⟩, ⟨uú⟩ ⟨âa⟩, ⟨ûu⟩ or ⟨aà⟩, ⟨uù⟩
Short Vowel ⟨á⟩, ⟨ú⟩ ⟨à⟩, ⟨ù⟩ or unmarked -

Keres Alphabet and Alphabetical order[edit]

Although Keresan is not normally written, there exists only one dictionary of the language in which words are listed in any given order. In this dictionary of Western Keres, digraphs count as single letters, although ejective consonants are not listed separately; occurring after their non-ejective counterparts. Both the glottal stop ⟨ʼ⟩ and long vowels (e.g. ⟨aa ee ii⟩ etc.) are not treated as separate letters.

Alphabetical order in the Acoma Keres Audio Dictionary

Sample texts[edit]

Orthography marking tone[edit]

Woodpecker and Coyote[9]

Ái dítʼîishu srbígà kʼánâaya dyáʼâʼu. Shʼée srbígà ái dyěitsị ái náyáa shdyɨ dyáʼa.

Orthography without tone marking[edit]

Boas text [8]

Baanaʼa, egu kauʼseeʼe, atsi sʼaama-ee srayutse.


Keresan is a split-ergative language in which verbs denoting states (i.e. stative verbs) behave differently from those indexing actions, especially in terms of the person affixes they take. This system of argument marking is based on a split-intransitive pattern, in which subjects are marked differently if they are perceived as actors than from when they are perceived as undergoers of the action being described.

The morphology of Keresan is mostly prefixing, although suffixes and reduplication also occur.[9] Keresan distinguishes nouns, verbs, numerals and particles as word classes. Nouns in Keresan do not normally distinguish case or number, but they can be inflected for possession, with distinct constructions for alienable and inalienable possession. Other than possession, Keresan nouns show no comprehensive noun classes.

Word order[edit]

Keresan is a verb-final language, though word order is rather flexible.[9][8]

Laguna Keres[8]

John Bill gukacha
J. B. g-Ø-ukacha
John Bill 3s-3s-see
'John saw Bill'


Negation is doubly marked in Keresan. In addition to the adverb dzaadi, verbs index negation through a suffix (e.g. -u).

  • Gukacha 'S/he saw her/him'
  • Dzaadi gukachau 'S/he didn't see her/him'

Verbal morphology[edit]

The verb is a central grammatical category in Keres, conveying the most information about events in communicative acts.[8][9][10] Through its morphemes, Keresan verbs code not only person and number of the initiator of the action (e.g. 'Tammy drinks decaf') as is common in Indo-European languages, but also how the initiator is implicated in the action. For instance, the three verbs that describe Tammy's actions in 'Tammy kicked the ball' vs. 'Tammy jumped' vs. 'Tammy sneezed', where kicking, jumping and sneezing require different levels of effort from Tammy. The person and number of the undergoer of the action is also coded on the verb (e.g. gukacha means 'S/he sees her/him' on its own), as well as how the speaker assesses the action ('I think Tammy arrived from class' vs. 'Tammy arrived from class'). Finally, the internal temporal structure of the action (i.e. aspect, as in 'Tammy was sneezing in class' vs. 'Tammy sneezed in class').

According to Maring (1967), the Keresan verb is organized around the following grammatical categories (pp. 39-40)[10]

  • Subject/Object relations
    • Subject of intransitive verbs: marked by a prefix that distinguishes 3-4 persons in the singular (see below).
    • Subject of transitive verbs: marked by a prefix that distinguishes 3-4 persons in the singular (see below).
    • Object of transitive verbs: marked by a prefix that combines with the subject prefix, or by a suffix
  • Number relations
    • Singular: usually marked by a prefix
    • Dual: can be marked by a prefix, partial reduplication or by suffixes
    • Plural: can be marked by a prefix, partial reduplication, by suffixes or by suppletive stem forms (i.e. singular and plural forms are not related etymologically)
  • Temporal relations
    • Future: is marked on the verb by a series of prefixes that also encode number
  • Modality relations
  • Voice relations
  • Aspect
    • Imperfective
    • Inceptive
    • Repetitive
    • Continuative
    • Habitual
    • Inchoative
    • Perfective

The verbal prefix[edit]

In Keres, the verbal prefix carries information from five different grammatical categories: argument role, modality, polarity,[8] person and number. That is, a single Keresan verb prefix codes who initiated the action and how implicated that entity is (the subject/case), whom underwent the effects of the action (the direct object), the speaker's assessment of the action (the modality)[14] and whether it occurred or not (polarity). On the other hand, information about when the action took place (i.e. tense) is expressed elsewhere in a clause, mostly by adverbs.[9]


Keresan verbs distinguish three numbers: singular, dual (two entities) and plural (more than two entities); and four persons: first (the speaker), second (the hearer), third (a known, definite or salient entity being talked about) and fourth (a non-salient, unknown or indefinite entity being talked about, also known as obviative) persons. The plural and dual forms are often marked by reduplication of part of the stem (gukacha ‘s/he saw it’ vs guʼukacha ‘the two of them saw it’).

Argument role[edit]

Languages encode two main types of actions: those in which the main participant initiates an action that produces change in an object (e.g. kick a ball, buy a gift, cook a dish, read a book); and those in which the action produces no (perceived) change in the world or that have no object (sneezing, breathing, growing, diving, etc.).[15] Actions that take an object are encoded by transitive verbs, whereas those that take no object are expressed via intransitive verbs.

Intransitive verbs[edit]

In Indo-European languages like English, all intransitive verbs behave similarly (‘They sneeze/breathe/dive/think’/etc.). In Keresan, actions that take no object are conceptualized in two distinct ways depending on how the initiator of the action is implicated. More active-like intransitive verbs (e.g. ‘to sneeze’) are coded through one set of morphemes, whereas actions conceptualized as involving the initiator at a lesser degree (e.g. ‘to believe’) are coded using a separate set of prefixes.

Degrees of involvement of the initiator in Keres[8]
Actions Intransitive verb type
More to write (-dyàatra), to steal as a thief (-chʼáwʼa), to have diarrhea (-ushchʼi),

to leave (-mi), to whistle (-srbiitsa), to sweat (-shdyuwàan’i)

Less to believe (-hima), to be born (-dyá), to sleep (-bái),

to be afraid (-tyishu), to forget (-dyúmidruwi)


Ideas expressed in Indo-European languages with adjectives are most often encoded by verbs in Keresan. That is, in Keresan one express the idea in the sentence ‘He is selfish’ by saying something along the lines of ‘He selfishes’. In such “actions”, the entity that is characterized by them is not implicated in the action directly (i.e. it's beyond their control), and thus belong in the Inactive intransitive category. The different sets of prefixes are shown below:

Intransitive Prefixes by Verb Type
Active intransive Inactive intrasitive
Prefix Example Prefix Example
First s(i)- sudyàatra I write srk- srkuhima I believe
Second sr- srúuchʼáwʼa you steal kɨdr- kɨdrâidyá you were born
Third k- kashdyuwàanʼi s/he sweats dz- dzíibái he is sleeping
Transitive verbs[edit]
Transitive verb - Indicative mood (-ukạchạ 'to see')
Direct object
Subject First ('me’) Second (‘you’) Third (‘her’/‘him’) Fourth


- srà-ukạchạ sì-ukạchạ -
I see you I see her/him


dyù-ukạchạ - srù-ukạchạ
you see me you see her/him


srgù-ukạchạ kudrù -ukạchạ g-ukạchạ gù-ukạchạ
s/he sees me s/he sees you s/he sees her/him s/he sees something


- dzì-ukạchạ -
one sees it


Aspect in Keresan is signalled by suffixes.

-ajanu 'to rain'
kájáni it rains
káajáni it is raining
kájásɨ it keeps raining
káajatú it rained

Time (tense) adverbials[edit]

The category of tense is expressed in Keresan via adverbs that indicate when the action about which one is speaking took place.

Time adverbials in Acoma Keres[10]
Past Future
tsikʼínuma long ago kúsra tonight
háma once, formerly nacháma tomorrow
súwa yesterday naháayashi day after tomorrow


New words are coined through a number of roots that are combined to pre-existing ones. Compounding is a common strategy for word building, although derivation also occurs.


The Keresan numeral system is a base 10 system. Numerals 11-19, as well as those between the multiple of tens, are formed by adding the word kʼátsi (/ kʼátsʰɪ / 'ten') followed by the word dzidra (/tsɪtʂa/ 'more'). Numerals 20 and above are formed by adding a multiplicative adverb (-wa or -ya) to the base number and the word kʼátsi.[8]

Western Keres
1 ísrkʼé 11 kʼátsi-írskʼá-dzidra 21 dyúya-kʼátsi-íisrkʼé-dzidra
2 dyúuwʼée 12 kʼátsi-dyú-dzidra 22 dyúya-kʼátsi-dyú-dzidra
3 chameʼée 13 kʼátsi-chami-dzidra 30 chamiya-kʼátsi
4 dyáana 14 kʼátsi-dyáana-dzidra 40 dyáanawa-kʼátsi
5 táam'a 15 kʼátsi-táamʼa-dzidra 50 táamʼawa-kʼátsi
6 shʼísa 16 kʼátsi-shchʼísa-dzidra 60 shchʼísawa-kʼátsi
7 mʼáiʼdyàana 17 kʼátsi-mʼáidyana-dzidra 70 mʼáidyanawa-kʼátsi
8 kukʼúmishu 18 kʼátsi-kukʼúmishu-dzidra 80 kukʼúmishuwa-kʼátsi
9 máyúkʼu 19 kʼátsi-máiyúkʼa-dzidra 90 máiyúkʼuwa-kʼátsi
10 kʼátsi 20 dyúwa-kʼátsi 100 kʼádzawa-kʼátsi

Loanwords from Spanish[edit]

European colonizers arriving in the Southwest US brought with them material culture and concepts that were unknown to the peoples living in the area. Words for the new ideas introduced by Spaniards were often borrowed into Keres directly from Early Modern Spanish, and a large number of these persists in Modern Keresan.[11]

Semantic domain Modern Western Keres Modern Spanish English translation
Household items kamárîita, kuchâaru, kujûuna, méesa, mendâan, kuwêeta camarita, cuchara, colchón, mesa, ventana, cubeta (Mexico) bed, spoon, mattress, table, window (glass), bucket
Social structure gumbanêerụ, rái, murâatụ, merigâanạ, kumanirá, ninêeru compañero, rey, mulato, americano(a), comunidad, dinero workmate, king, black person, white person, community house, money
Food géesu, arûusị, kawé, kurántụ, mantạgîiyụ, mandêegạ queso, arroz, café, cilantro, mantequilla, manteca cheese, rice, coffee, cilantro, butter, lard/butter
Animal husbandry kawâayu, kanêeru, kujíinu, kurá, dûura, wáakạshị caballo, carnero, cochino, corral, toro, vaca horse, sheep, pen/corral, bull, cow
Religious concepts míisa, Háasus Kuríistị, nachạwêena, guréesima misa, Jesús Cristo, Noche Buena, Cuaresma mass, Jesus Christ, Christmas, Lent
Days of the week tamîikụ, rûunishị, mâatịsị, mérikụsị, sruwêewesị, yêenịsị, sâawaru domingo, lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday


Reconstruction ofKeresan languages

Proto-Keresan reconstructions by Miller and Davis (1963):[16]

no. gloss Proto-Keresan
1 closed *-ʔáˑʔᴀ; *c̍ʔáˑʔᴀ
2 arrive *-ʔác̍ɪ; *záʔác̍ɪ
3 cooking pot *ʔádàus̆ɪ
4 tether *ʔáˑdʸáˑnɪ
5 there *ʔáisí
6 lamp *ʔánáiẓáṅɪ
7 chair, pillow *ʔánámát̠ɪ
8 tasty *ʔáṅéˑ-za
9 knee *ʔás̆ɪ; gáʔás̆ɪ
10 wheat *ʔáṣánɪ
11 metate *ʔáˑwáˑṅɪ
12 he is willing *ʔé-gu
13 his name *ʔéˑ-gá
14 remember *ʔéʔé-gu
15 go (plural) *-ʔégᴜ; *zéʔégᴜ
16 sneeze *ʔésu-gᴀ
17 centipede *ʔíʔìˑdʸawa
18 liver *ʔíʔínâˑni
19 cholla cactus *ʔiˑbánɪ
20 bark *ʔíˑč̇ánání
21 flour *ʔín̍áˑwí
22 excrement *ʔiˑsa
23 arrow *ʔísdúwa
24 one *ʔísgᴀ
25 meat *ʔíšâiˑni
26 grease, lard *ʔíṣat̍ɪ
27 porcupine *ʔiˑṣ̍á
28 life *ʔíyâˑní
29 hot *ʔɨ́rɨ́ˑ
30 give *-ʔíᴜ; *zâuʔᴜ
31 dwell *-ʔᴜ; *gâuʔᴜ
32 leggings *ʔúˑbᴀsdʸán̍ɪ
33 earrings *ʔúkúˑyá-ṁɪ
34 warrior society *ʔu̍ˑpɪ
35 sun *ʔúṣâˑẓᴀ
36 basket *ʔút̍áˑn̍ɪ, *ʔúˑt̍áˑn̍ɪ
37 bowl *ʔúwáist̍án̍ɪ
38 baby *ʔúwàˑḵa
39 match *ʔúˑwísgɨ́zɪ
40 grandchild, grandparent *báˑba̍ˑ
41 wake up *-bádʸɨ; *ċíˑbádʸɨ
42 fire, to build a *-báyᴀ; *súbáyᴀ
43 tell *-be; *síube
44 eat *-bᴇ; *kúbᴇ, *ku̍ˑbᴇ
45 toad *bêˑrak̠ᴀ
46 wood, to fetch *-bí; *súbí
47 smooth *-bîˑrizᴀ; *ka̍ubîˑrizᴀ
48 dark *-bɪs̆ᵻ; *ḱábɪs̆ᵻ
49 purple *bís̆ɨ́ˑná
50 lopsided *bíyáˑ-za
51 west *bɨ́-
52 enter *-bᵻ; *gúbᵻ
53 put in *-bɨnaiʔɪ; *s̍áubɨnaiʔɪ
54 log *bɨ́ẓâˑm̍ɪ
55 torso *búmúˑná
56 butterfly *búˑr̍àigᴀ
57 odor *bùˑṣᴜ-gᴀ
58 lightning *búẓuw̍ist̠ɪ
59 breathe *cáˑ-gᴀ
60 breath *càˑc̠ɪ
61 wing *cáˑp̠ɪ
62 wall *cèˑc̠ɪ
63 turkey *cinᴀ
64 fox *cúsk̠ɪ
65 fly *c̍âˑp̠ɪ
66 angry *-c̍ayawᴀ; *kúc̍ayawᴀ
67 broken *c̍áyú̠-zɪ
68 chew *-c̍êˑnazᴀ; *káʔáuc̍êˑnazᴀ
69 deep *-c̍ɪ; *k̍ác̍ɪ
70 need *-c̍íbᵻ; *zíuc̍íbᵻ
71 locust *c̍íˑga
72 Zia Pueblo *c̍íˑy̍á
73 water *c̍ízɪ
74 rain *-c̆ᴀ; *kàˑc̆ᴀ
75 side *c̆áˑdʸa
76 tomorrow *c̆ámá
77 three *c̆émɪ
78 kiva *c̆ídʸá
79 yellow *-c̆in̍ɪ; *k̍uˑc̆in̍ɪ
80 burp *-c̆úˑ-gᴀ
81 hot *-č̇ᴀ; *gâˑc̐ᴀ
82 steal *-c̐áwᴀ; *kúˑc̐áwᴀ
83 medicine man *č̇áyâˑni
84 hawk *č̇ɨ́ˑríga
85 horned toad *dabínᴜsk̠ᴀ
86 heel *-dák̍ᴀ; *séˑdák̍ᴀ
87 Santa Ana Pueblo *dámáyá
88 squash *dâˑni
89 moon *dâw̍áˑẓᵻ
90 give *-di; *zìudi, *gùˑdi
91 corn husk *díˑskámí
92 feed *-di̍ˑša (*-dîˑšaʔ); *c̍ídi̍ˑša
93 dog *díyᴀ
94 cliff *-dúwɪ; *kádúwɪ
95 stocking *dúwim̍išɪ
96 pet *-dʸáˑ; *k̍ádʸá
97 catch *-dʸa; *zídʸa
98 bobcat *dʸáˑdʸᴜ
99 eagle *dʸáˑmí
100 four *dʸâˑna
101 deer *dʸán̍é
102 fast (abstain from eating) *-dʸašɪ
103 early *dʸáwa
104 gourd *dʸáˑwí
105 piñon pine *dʸèic̠ɪ
106 north *dʸídʸᴀ
107 above *dʸíní
108 elk *dʸɨ́ˑṣᴀ
109 two *dʸûˑ-w̍éˑ
110 badger *dʸúˑbí
111 brother of a man *dʸúmᵻ; *k̍ádʸyúmᵻ
112 beans *gánami
113 white *gášé
114 seed *gáwɪc̠ɪ
115 morning *gáˑyu
116 and *gu
117 bite *-gᴜ; *gàˑgᴜ
118 firewood *gùˑc̠ɪ
119 bear *gúháyᴀ
120 eight *gúk̍úmɪšᵻ
121 sell *-gúyᴀ; zígúyᴀ
122 east *háˑ-
123 land *háʔác̍ɪ
124 yucca *háʔásc̐á
125 finger-nail *háʔáw̍íˑc̐á-ni
126 claw *háʔáw̍íˑc̐ánani
127 oak *ha̍ˑbánɪ
128 feather *háˑbí
129 navel *hádáw̍ini
130 coals *hâˑk̍aˑni
131 tobacco *hâˑmiˑ
132 beard *háˑmúšaˑni
133 long ago *hám̍aˑ
134 hand *hám̍ᴀsdíʔini
135 ice *hâˑm̍éˑ
136 naked *hánâˑm,
137 pine tree *hâˑniˑ
138 people *hánᴜ
139 shoe *háˑs̐uwim̍ɪ, *háˑs̐úwím̍ɪ
140 pollen *háˑt̍awé
141 who *háu
142 yawn *háu-gᴀ
143 snow *háˑwéˑ
144 stalk (of a plant) *háwiẓɨni
145 prayer-stick *háẓam̍ɨni
146 hair *háˑẓɨ́nɪ
147 Jemez Pueblo *héˑmíšíˑ-cɪ, *héˑmíšíˑ-zé
148 cloud *hénat̍ɪ
149 turtle *héyᴀdʸɪ
150 fog *héyàˑšɪ
151 I, we *hínᴜ
152 knife *hìˑsgai
153 arrowhead *hìˑst̍íyaˑni
154 you *híṣᴜ
155 road *híyâˑni
156 seed *híˑẓɨni
157 willow *híẓᵻsk̍áwa
158 dove *húˑʔùˑga
159 saliva *húˑbɨ́nɪ
160 wool *hùˑséní
161 yucca fruit *hùˑsk̍ani
162 sky *húwak̍ᴀ
163 eye *húwanáʔani
164 milk *húwîˑni
165 hear *-káˑ; *k̍ákáˑ
166 see *k̠ᴀčᴀ; *gùˑk̠ᴀčᴀ, *gúˑk̠ᴀčᴀ
167 summer *káṣâidɪ
168 broken *káyú-zɪ
169 antelope *kɨ́ˑc̠ɪ
170 burn *kɨ́ˑẓᵻ-gᴀ
171 situated *-k̠ᴜ; *ga̍ˑk̠ᴜ
172 winter *kúˑkᵻ
173 thread a needle *-kûˑyau; *zíkûˑyau
174 mouth *-k̍ᴀ; *c̍îˑk̍ᴀ, *zîˑk̍ᴀ
175 wolf *k̍ákana
176 spider *k̍ámᴀsk̠ᵻ
177 heat of the sun *k̍ánani
178 rainbow *k̍ásdʸâˑc̍ɪ
179 moss *k̍áwina
180 ten *k̍ázɪ
181 friend *-k̍îˑni, *k̍áuk̍îˑni
182 clown *k̍ɨṣáirí
183 woman *k̍úˑ, *k̍úwí
184 wife *-k̍ui; *k̍âuk̍ui
185 sister of a man *-k̍ûiẓᴀ; *k̍ák̍ûiẓᴀ
186 string (noun) *-k̍úmɪ; *ċíuk̍úmɪ, *kúk̍úmíná
187 last night *k̍úṣᴀ
188 mountain *k̍úˑtí
189 game animal *k̍úyàitɪ
190 old woman *k̍úˑyáu-ẓá
191 thigh *-maˑ; *kâˑmaˑ
192 girl *ma̍ˑgɨ́ˑ-za
193 leaf *másâˑni
194 boy *mɨ́ˑdéˑ
195 kill *-mɨdʸɪzᴀ; *gúmɨdʸɪzᴀ
196 black *mɨ̂ˑnagan̍ɪ
197 buttocks *-múc̐ᴀ; *gáumūc̐ᴀ
198 mountain lion *mûˑk̍aiẓᴀ
199 dented *múr̍ᴀ-zɪ
200 buffalo *múšêiẓᴀ
201 soapweed *múšɪ
202 house *-m̍ᴀ; *gâˑm̍ᴀ
203 clay *m̍íˑc̍ɪ
204 seven *m̍àidʸaˑna
205 dipper *m̍ák̍ᴀ
206 word *m̍áˑní
207 palm of the hand *-m̍aˑp̠ᴀ; *gám̍aˑp̠ᴀ
208 moth *m̍ídá
209 others *m̍ídá
210 salt *m̍ína
211 ashes *m̍ísc̐ai
212 alkali *m̍íst̠ɪ
213 hummingbird *m̍îˑzᴀ
214 salty *-m̍ᵻ; *zéˑm̍ᵻ
215 leave *-m̍ᵻ; *gúmᵻ
216 eye *-ná; *k̍âˑná
217 new *nàˑceˑ
218 food *nác̍í
219 stomach *-nac̐ᴀɪ
220 head *-násgái; *gánásgái
221 uncle, nephew *-náwé; *k̍áˑnáwé
222 mother *-nâˑya; *kánâˑya
223 know *-ni; *gúni
224 rubber *nɨ́ˑʔɨ́ẓᵻ
225 prairie dog *nɨ́t̠ɪ
226 separate *núwáiná
227 survive *n̍ám̍ᴀzᴀ; *kín̍ám̍ᴀzᴀ
228 body *n̍í; *sín̍í
229 down *n̍ɨ́
230 lungs *pánᴀc̠ɪ
231 bag *pâˑni
232 bedbug *peséc̍uru
233 cracked *pét̍ᴀ-gᴀ
234 forehead *-pɪ; *k̍ùˑp̠í
235 buckskin *pìˑc̠ɪ
236 flat *písc̐ᴀ-zɪ
237 skin *písc̐ánani
238 blow *-pùˑzᴀ; *síupùˑzᴀ
239 salamander *p̍águra
240 good *ráwáˑ
241 rabbit *rèˑdʸᴀ
242 fat *rîˑwagan̍ɪ
243 small *rɨ́ˑ-
244 all *sái
245 sun rays *-sbí; *gáisbí
246 woodpecker *sbíga
247 chicken *sbíˑná
248 string (verb) *-sbíẓᴀ; *kúsbíẓᴀ
249 jug *sbúˑná
250 burst *sc̐ác̍ɪ-gᴀ
251 meadowlark *sc̐áˑná
252 cut hair *sc̐ánᴀwᴀ; *kúsc̐ánᴀwᴀ
253 twilight *sc̐áp̠ᵻˑgᴀ
254 grasshopper *sc̐ár̍ɪ
255 tender *sc̐áẇᵻ-zɪ
256 trousers *-sc̐áẓán̍ɪ; *ẇíˑsc̐áẓán̍ɪ, *áisc̐áẓán̍ɪ
257 fast *sc̐áẓɨ́ˑ
258 squeal *-sc̐èˑzᴀ; *gúˑsc̐èˑzᴀ
259 six *sc̐ísᴀ
260 crow *sc̐ɨ́r̍á
261 swallow *sc̐úˑ-sᴇ
262 wild honey *sc̐úmᵻ
263 cough *sc̐úṣᴜ-sᴇ
264 mosquito *sc̐úy̍úˑná
265 breeze *-sdayᴀ; *zèˑsdayᴀ
266 foot *-sdi; *kásdi
267 temple *-sduˑ; *sèusduˑ
268 suck *-sdʸᴀ; *zíˑsdʸᴀ
269 brown *-sdʸɪrɪ; *k̍ùisdʸɪrɪ
270 fill *-sé; *c̍íˑsé
271 sure *se̍ˑgᴀ
272 fur *-séˑn̍é; *kúséˑn̍é
273 twisted *sgɨ́ẓᵻ-zɪ
274 ant *síˑʔí
275 squirrel *síˑdʸᴀ
276 flesh *sínani
277 eyelash *-síp̠ᴀ; *ciˑsíp̠ᴀ
278 bird, sp. *sír̍úˑ
279 mouse *síyan̍ᵻ
280 wrong doing *sìˑ-zɪ
281 middle *sɨ́nᴀ
282 bighorn sheep *skàˑsk̠ᴜ
283 blue, green *-sk̠ᵻ-, *k̍ùisk̠ᵻ
284 giant *skúˑy̍ᴜ
285 drink *-sk̍ᴀ; *gísk̍ᴀ
286 bullsnake *sk̍áʔáˑdʸᴜ
287 fish *sk̍àˑšᵻ
288 turn around *-sk̍ɨ́ˑʔᵻẓᴀɪ; *sa̍isk̍ɨ́ˑʔᵻẓᴀɪ
289 round *sk̍ɨ́r̍ɪ-zɪ
290 spherical *sk̍úrú-zɪ
291 peas *sk̍úrúˑná
292 plate *spéráˑná, *pérazɪšɪ
293 dwarf corn *spíníní
294 chicken pox *spúrúˑná
295 peck *-sp̍ék̍ᴜzᴀ; *kúsp̍ék̍ᴜzᴀ
296 singe hair *-st̍amuc̐ᴀzᴀ; *c̍ást̍amuc̐ᴀzᴀ
297 get water *-st̍á; *kúst̍á
298 give liquid *-st̍i
299 melt *-st̍ɪt̠ᴜ; *c̍íst̍ɪt̠ᴜ
300 straight *-st̍ɨ́ˑ-zɪ
301 die *-st̍ᴜ; *kùˑst̍ᴜ
302 pointed *-st̍úk̍ᴜ-zɪ
303 sharp *-st̍úw̍ɪ-zɪ
304 yesterday *súwá, *súˑ
305 step *-šᴀ; *kášᴀ
306 parrot *šâˑwit̠ᴀ
307 flea, louse *šínaˑ
308 hip *šᵻbᴀ
309 goose *šúˑdá
310 snake, sp. *šùˑga
311 corpse *šûˑmɨˑ
312 spit *šúp̠ᵻ-sᴇ
313 turquoise *šúwimu
314 borrow *-s̐iˑzᴀ; *síus̐iˑzᴀ
315 scattered *ṣám̍áˑ
316 torn *ṣárɪ-gᴀ
317 raw *ṣící
318 blue jay *ṣúisɪ
319 snake *ṣûˑwiˑ
320 crooked *ṣúw̍ɪ-zɪ
321 five *tâˑm̍ᴀ
322 work *-tâˑn̍iẓᴀ; *kútâˑn̍iẓᴀ
323 esteem *ténéˑ-gu
324 teeth *-t̠ɪ; *za̍ˑt̠ɪ
325 back *t̠ɪdʸᴀ; *k̍át̠ɪdʸᴀ
326 full *-t̍á; *gíˑt̍á
327 step on *t̍ᴀ; *zîˑt̍ᴀ
328 visit *-t̍àˑnᴇ; *gúˑt̍àˑnᴇ
329 grind *-t̍ɪwᴀ; *káʔâˑt̍ɪwᴀ
330 tongue *wáˑčɨ́n̍ɪ
331 dress, shirt *wágɨn̍ɪ
332 bird snare *wáˑsɪ
333 young of animal *wa̍ˑst̍ɪ
334 soft *wáṣ̍ᴀ-zɪ
335 medicine *wáˑwá
336 root *wáˑwáiẓɨni
337 brother of a woman *-waẓᵻ; *k̍áwaẓᵻ
338 stir *-wáẓᵻša; *síwáẓᵻša, *síwáẓᵻšayᴀ
339 chest *-wic̍ɪ; *gáwic̍ɪ
340 neck *-wîˑẓa; *gáwîˑẓa
341 face *-wa; *k̍úwa, *k̍úwaw̍ɪ
342 abalone shell *w̍a̍ˑbɨ́nɪ
343 eagle down *w̍abúˑsc̐ᴀ
344 hunt *-w̍àˑnᴇ; *súw̍àˑnᴇ
345 sour *-w̍ᴀsdá; *k̍áw̍ᴀsdá
346 son-in-law *-w̍a̍ˑti; *k̍áw̍a̍ˑti
347 duck *w̍âˑyuṣᴀ
348 sweet *-w̍eˑʔᴇ; *kúw̍eˑʔᴇ
349 child *-w̍ɪ; *k̍âˑw̍ɪ
350 heart *w̍ínᴜsgᴀ
351 cigarette *w̍ìˑsp̍ɪ
352 born *-yá; *cíyá
353 sand *yáʔái
354 corn silk *yábášɪ
355 corn *yáˑčínɪ
356 mesquite *yêˑt̠ᴜ
357 worm *yúʔúbɨ́
358 intestines *y̍áʔáwâˑni
359 staff of office *y̍áˑbí
360 look for (singular object) *-y̍áibᴀ; *zíy̍áibᴀ
361 find *-y̍âin̍ᴀ; *zíy̍âin̍ᴀ
362 brains *y̍àˑsbu̍ˑẓaˑni
363 stone *y̍âuni
364 stick *y̍áw̍ᴀstí
365 crippled *y̍âˑyu
366 arm *-y̍ûˑm̍ɪ; *cíy̍ûˑm̍ɪ, *gáy̍ûˑm̍ɪ
367 song *y̍ûˑni
368 shoulder *y̍úˑsbiˑni
369 corn cob *y̍úˑskúm̍á
370 sing *-y̍ùˑtᴀ; *súy̍ùˑtᴀ
371 no *zá
372 say *-za; *k̍áza
373 plains *zàˑdʸa
374 old *záwini
375 language *zêˑni
376 lie down *-zi; *káʔáizi
377 go (singular) *zùˑ-gᴜ
378 pay *-zúwᴀ; *zíˑzúwᴀ
379 horn *-ẓᴀ; *záẓᴀ
380 awake *-ẓáˑčúwᴀ; *ki̍ˑẓáˑčúwᴀ, *kíˑẓáˑčúwᴀ
381 club *ẓàic̠ɪ
382 husband *ẓɨ́; *k̍áˑẓɨ́
383 house *-ẓᵻ; *káẓᵻ
384 smoke (tobacco) *ẓᵻkᴀ; *ka̍ˑẓᵻkᴀ

In popular media[edit]

Keres was one of the seven languages used in the Coca-Cola commercial called "It's Beautiful" broadcast during the 2014 Super Bowl.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Keres, Western". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  2. ^ "Keres, Eastern". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Keresan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Ian., Maddieson (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521113267. OCLC 10724704.
  5. ^ a b Davis, Irvine (1964). The Language of Santa Ana Pueblo, Smithsonian Bulletin 191, Anthropological Papers, No. 69.
  6. ^ a b A Comparative Sketch of Pueblo Languages: Phonology. Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics. 1987.
  7. ^ a b Spencer, Robert F. (1946). The Phonemes of Keresan.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Lachler, Jordan (2005). Grammar of Laguna Keres. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Dissertation.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Valiquette, Hilaire (1990). A study for a lexicon of Laguna Keresan.
  10. ^ a b c d e Maring, Joel M. (1967). Grammar of Acoma Keresan. Indiana University Dissertation.
  11. ^ a b Spencer, Robert (1947). "Spanish Loanwords in Keresan". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology. 3 (2): 130–146. doi:10.1086/soutjanth.3.2.3628729.
  12. ^ Brandt, Elizabeth (1981). "Native American Attitudes toward Literacy and Recording in the Southwest". Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest. 4 (2): 185–195.
  13. ^ "The Keres Language Project". The Keres Language Project. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  14. ^ L., Bybee, Joan (1994). The evolution of grammar : tense, aspect, and modality in the languages of the world. Perkins, Revere D. (Revere Dale), Pagliuca, William. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226086631. OCLC 29387125.
  15. ^ 1936-, Givón, Talmy (2001). Syntax : an introduction. Volume 1 (Rev. ed.). Amsterdam: J. Benjamins. ISBN 1588110656. OCLC 70727915.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Miller, Wick R. and Davis, Irvine. 1963. Proto-Keresan phonology. International Journal of American Linguistics 29: 310-330.
  17. ^ "Native Language Spotlighted During Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad". Indian Country Today Media Network. 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-02-26.


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  • Campbell, Lyle (1997). American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics. 4. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509427-5.
  • Davis, Irvine (1963). "Bibliography of Keresan linguistic sources". International Journal of American Linguistics. 29 (3): 289–293. doi:10.1086/464745.
  • Davis, Irvine (1964). "The language of Santa Ana Pueblo". Anthropological Papers. Bulletin (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 191 (69): 53–190. ISSN 0082-8882 – via U.S. Government Printing Office.
  • Davis, Irvine (1966). "Acoma Grammar and Texts. Wick R. Miller". Review. American Anthropologist. 68 (3): 810–811. doi:10.1525/aa.1966.68.3.02a00450.
  • Davis, Irvine (1968). "Acoma Grammar and Texts. By Wick R. Miller". Review. Language. 44 (1): 185–189. doi:10.2307/411485.
  • Davis, Irvine (1974). "Keresan–Caddoan comparisons". International Journal of American Linguistics. 40 (3): 265–267. doi:10.1086/465321.
  • Hawley, Florence (1950). "Keresan patterns of kinship and social organization". American Anthropologist. 52 (4): 499–512. doi:10.1525/aa.1950.52.4.02a00050.
  • Kroskrity, Paul V. (1983). "On male and female speech in the Pueblo Southwest". International Journal of American Linguistics. 49 (1): 88–91. doi:10.1086/465769.
  • Lachler, Jordan (2005). A grammar of Laguna Keres (PhD thesis). University of New Mexico. ISBN 978-05-4273622-3.
  • Maring, Joel M. (1975). "Speech variation in Acoma Keresan". In Kinkade, M. Dale; Hale, Kenneth L.; Werner, Oswald (eds.). Linguistics and Anthropology: In Honor of C. F. Voegelin. Lisse, Netherlands: Peter de Ridder Press. pp. 473–485. ISBN 978-90-316-0079-3.
  • Mickey, Barbara H. (1956). "Acoma kinship terms". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology. 12 (3): 249–256. doi:10.1086/soutjanth.12.3.3629083.
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  • Miller, Wick R. (1960). "Spanish loanwords in Acoma: II". International Journal of American Linguistics. 26 (1): 41–49. doi:10.1086/464552.
  • Miller, Wick R. (1965). Acoma Grammar and Texts. University of California Publications in Linguistics. 40. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISSN 0068-6484.
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